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How Quiet Helps at School

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How Quiet Helps at School

Published 1953

Social guidance film for young children suggesting that they take their noise out to the playground.

Run time 10:11
Producer Coronet Instructional Films
Sponsor N/A
Audio/Visual Sd, B&W


Shows how a class can study and work better if the room is quiet. Demonstrates ways to study without interrupting others. Indicates that noise does have a place on the playground.
Ken Smith sez: This film starts off dull, but then it gets pretty strange. First, we're taken on a tour of a typical, boisterous grade school classroom ("You couldn't be proud to be part of such a noisy room, could you?" asks the narrator), and then we're taken into the classroom of "Miss Bradley" -- a place where all sound has apparently been banished. Miss Bradley tells us that keeping a classroom this quiet is good because it's "like an office," and that "knowing when to be quiet is a part of growing up." A cheerful geek named "Bobby" then gives several demonstrations of quiet behavior, and the narrator ends the film by asking, "This is a good room, isn't it?" Pretty weird stuff; lots of dead air. Watch for the scenes displaying the strange, tabletop "model farm."

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Reviewer: JSBejma - favoritefavoritefavorite - September 24, 2014
Subject: Hyperbole To Make A Point
In those days, in lower grades especially, there actually were quiet rooms and noisy rooms - all depended on the teacher. But this film definitely exaggerates to some degree.

The point is that some teachers (Miss Georgia Sammartino for example [bless her heart]) operated a noisy busy ass room, but that was her very characteristic way of taking time and energy to literally "customize" her teaching for each and every kid in that class (we're talking 35 kids or so, some very dysfunctional, some, like me, gifted). I spent afternoons sent outside to play, mornings reading 5th grade books, and was given the dubious role of "police" not the least, to control the pervy kid that kept walking around the room sticking his thingy out at everybody (one wonders what that was all about).

On the other hand, Miss Moore required that a pin could be heard hitting the floor, but all that did was make six year old kids so nervous they all had zits by the end of the semester (and were no smarter far as I could tell).

This film tends to drag out a bit, but the acting is good.
Reviewer: AynRandsPlumber - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 4, 2010
Subject: Common Sense
Everything in here is common sense. There is nothing cruel about keeping a classroom quiet. What is cruel however, is allowing a classroom to become a scene from Lord Of The Flies, where bullying is ignored and survival is left to the fittest or the biggest and most intimidating. And make no mistake; today's bullying epidemic is directly correlated to our permissive philosophy. We have traded a mean teacher; for a generation of mean spirited, self absorbed narcissists. How can we justify a room full of nonsense, chatting and foolishness? Anyone who has ever substituted or worked in a school knows the nightmare social failure that permissive parenting and teaching has created. Teachers can tell you. Most teachers would agree that a noisy classroom is more condusive to learning. Those who say different probably just frustrated and either trying to keep their jobs or bitterly acknowledging the seeming impossibility of enforcing such a standard. These teachers know that even if they tried to enforce quiet, they would receive no support from parents or administration. Where is the evidence that noisy rooms are good for kids?

Of course there is no evidence that the modern noisy classroom environment is working. The evidence is all to the contrary. This film is just common sense. Unfortunately, there's not much common sense left in this country where people uphold the value of a room full of unruly kids as wonderful.

Ironically, more violence, more bullying and less education is going on in the brave new world of the modern public school. People speak of respect and safety; but it's all talk and no action. Ask any child; are they safe? Are they respected at their school? They will tell us the truth. Do we want the truth? Or are we more interested in hearing what we want to believe? Which is that the Brave New World is a success and that everything in these corny films is wrong.

As for the teacher being mean; life is mean and what we are dealing with in today's youth culture (just read the newspaper) is far meaner than any 20th Century student of a "mean" teacher, a teacher who kept her room quiet, could ever have imagined. Just ask the elderly still among us what they thought of their education in light of today's state of affairs. But, we probably don't want to know.
Reviewer: babe917 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 28, 2009
Subject: the narrator = priceless
the narrators in films like these are usually pretty boring...but not this guy lol! his reactions to things are priceless lol!

the walking quietly like that & the chairs, not making a sound. kinda eerie
Reviewer: rasputin2 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 10, 2009
Subject: School "types" and divisions
Let me guess: the bright accelerated white kids are the quiet class...

The special-ed dumb kids and "ethnic" kids are the loud noisy ones?

Seriously, though-- that first (noisy) classroom just sounds like a bunch of normal kids getting some good work done. I don't see what the "problem" is.

The Fifties were straitlaced, weren't they?

That Bobby looks like a young Jeffrey Dahmer.
Reviewer: DrAwkward - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 16, 2009
Subject: Miss Bradley
Miss Bradley is a genius. With organizational skills bordering on the supernatural, she has turned a group of seven-year-olds into one of the world's leading architecture firms.
Reviewer: ERD. - favoritefavoritefavorite - August 10, 2009
Subject: Too much quiet!
So many of the 1950's "educational" films made for schools were idealistic. Just how the teacher indoctrinated the whole class to be that quiet was a mystery. The students lacked energy & spontaneity. What child can be so"perfect." School is suppose to be a motivational place, not a military camp. This almost seemed like a scifi film.
Reviewer: dubldeka - favoritefavorite - August 9, 2009
Subject: Child abuse of the 50s
Horrible and stupid. Enforced silence is a mental cruelty to children.
It brings back memories of teaches I had in those days with such restrictive teaching practises.
The reality was that these cruel attitudes created the later rebellious behaviour in teen life of the early sixties and a hatred for learning.
They believed that children must be seen and not heard. give me the first class any time.
Reviewer: Spuzz - favoritefavoritefavorite - July 31, 2003
This film shows us the difference between a noisy classroom and a more quiet classroom. How they are quiet is obviously shown here. Now the question of HOW THEY GOT THAT WAY is never dwelled upon. One wonders if Miss Bradley isn't a bitch on wheels when the cameras arent running. How else could she have so much conformity in this class? That. or Ritalin. Lots and lots of it.
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